“Everyone who’s ever lived has been affected, changed, shaped, helped, or hindered by others.” David McCullough in American Spirit \: who we are and what we stand for 2017
The purpose of DEI training is to make people less racist, misogynist, ableist, heteronormative, fatphobic, etc.? However, to reduce these problematic situations, all hands must be on deck and vigorously fight racism and other issues associated with ubiquitous discriminatory practices in our society. Denial is not the answer. To seriously address these issues, I would suggest three simple steps to, at minimum, reduce these anomalies and, at best, for all to vigorously fight to eradicate racism and issues of isms.
First, to solve a problem, one has to identify and clearly define it. You cannot solve any problem until you understand it. For those MBAs, I do not need to remind you, you know, and you were well informed that for you to be successful in solving any problem, you must understand it and be able to define it carefully and clearly. For those still wondering whether they should study history, I say this; we must not forget our past because history shapes our future behaviors for good or evil. Those who ignore their history are bound to repeat their historical mistakes, and that’s not good. You learn from history to avoid yesterday’s mistakes; you have to learn from them, and you do not know by denying that it happens. In a nutshell, avoiding inconvenient history would lead to repeat. I debated with a friend who fights tooth and nail to prevent CRT as if it’s not a part of our history. As I told him that he needed to do more work, start by remembering the wisdom of May Angelou when she cautioned us, “Do the best you can until you know better. Then when you know better, do better.” Think about it; if you know better, you will do better. The quest then becomes, how do you know better? Well, there is only one way to know better; you learn and examine the history, including CRT, to understand better. Germans know this well, they are pretty aware of Nazis, and that’s why it is illegal in Germany to have Nazis symbols, unlike in the United States, where we still worship confederate flags and still keep the signs of those who still use state rights to sustain their hate and make rules that subjugate people who are not like them, especially as we have seen in racial acts toward blacks and Asians as we have seen since COVID-19.
Second, I encourage you to pick up my 2019 book, “Cultivating a Belief System for Peace, Equity, and Social Justice for All.” In that book, we explored the belief formation process, the roles of our parents, siblings, our community, and our schools in shaping our beliefs, and the fact that hence that belief system is created, cultivated, nurtured, and sustained, it will shape our behavior in ways that would shape our behaviors. One’s belief system shapes the individual’s behavior, and it is difficult for one to divorce such belief from one’s behavior. Therefore, we must understand how our belief system shapes one’s behavior, and more importantly, we must understand who we are, and that would give us the window through which we can conceptualize why we do what we do. The answer to why one behaves the way they do lies in one’s experience, which ultimately provides the foundation for one’s belief system. In a nutshell, it’s one’s experience or cultural background that shapes the individual’s Belief System: Factors that could influence one’s behavior include values, artistic concepts, cultures, norms, and the ambiance of one’s environment- (parents, siblings, friends). You cannot divorce one’s belief system from their behavior. It’s one’s belief system that informs and propels one to act in whatever way the person acts. Mark Twain reminds us that “where you live really does shape who you are.” A position that is supported by schema theory
A schema is a generalized description or conceptual framework for understanding knowledge and how it is formed, represented, and used. Everyone’s experience has context-those could be associated with good or bad—empathy, racism, classism, sexual harassment, gender inequity, etc.
Third, once a belief system is formed, it is not easy to change or transform, a belief system that is not in sync with the appropriate and expected behavior, such as racism, gender discrimination, discriminatory practices based on one’s sexual orientation, disability, etc., can be changed. To change any unwanted belief system, we must dive into the belief transformation process to help us change. You could learn more about the road map to belief transformation from Diversity Frontier Inc. It is essential for privileged corporate leaders to lead a diverse workforce to gain insight into Diversity Frontier Inc.’s road map to belief transformation.